Chris Paul scored 41 points without committing a turnover last night in a legacy-securing performance. Sixteen years of disappointment were soothed by an iconic 7:39 stretch which saw the Phoenix Suns point guard score 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting en route to 31 second-half points. It was great theater. A fitting way for Paul to take his bow at centerstage. Perhaps the night we'll remember most when we look back at his Hall of Fame career.
But if you think it did anything to require edits to Stugotz's personal record book, well, think again. Because he also has a stat for you.
Paul was 2-2 in the Western Conference Finals as a starter. His backup Cam Payne was 2-0. How about that?
Seemingly cornered today, Stugotz did what he did best: let his eyes dart around the room and go boldly in the most absurd of directions.
We all know he's wrong but what the rest of this post presupposes is ... what if he's not?
Paul came into Game 6 having missed 41 of his 60 shots in the series. He carried a -27 plus-minus through Games 3-5. Payne, on the other hand, made 17 of his 34 attempts as a starter, scoring 20 points per contest and sporting a +18 in Games 1 and 2.
That's probably not anything, yet it is something. Enough for Stugotz to ... what is it, quadruple down at this point ... and present his list of top 10 NBA point guards. A club requiring at least one championship to enter.
One wonders what Stugotz will do if Paul wins NBA Finals MVP. But I'm warning you because I care about you: Underestimating his ability to carve out a lane no one else cares to occupy is a dangerous game. Perhaps the most dangerous of games.